Running to Writing

30 Nov

I received this wonderful message on the RFBR Facebook page from an Irish gal living in Singapore.  I thought it was so lovely, I’ve reposted it here.  Particularly inspiring is how she has used running – and the newfound confidence it has brought to her life – to give her the courage to try and become a writer, and here is the link to her first article published in an online magazine in Hong Kong. (http://www.sassymamahk.com/training-tips-for-running-your-first-half-marathon/). It has some great advice for anyone training for a half marathon (particularly those in hot humid climates, like my sister Annie Field and all her buddies Down Under)

Hi Ruth,

I’ve been wanting to message you for a while to say a long overdue thank you after signing up for a colour run 1 year ago for fun, I bought ‘Run Fat Bitch Run’ and felt so inspired by you, your attitude and you’re writing. Your advice and encouragement were so refreshing and 1 year later I’m signed up to do my first half marathon in Singapore! I can’t wait and I’ve loved the training experience, as painful as it is at times!

Embarking on this journey has also given me the confidence to pursue writing, something I’ve been putting off for years as I was always worried I wouldn’t be talented enough. It seems the confidence I’ve gained through running has started to seep in to all areas of my life, and I finally sat down and wrote my first article. It’s been published in an online magazine in Hong Kong and I hope this will be the start of a career change for me.

I know you’re crazy busy but I’ll post the link to the article if you feel like reading it. But mainly I just wanted to tell you that what you’re doing is so important and you’re changing lives in a very real way.

Again, thank you so much! Keep the grit coming!

Best, Fionnuala.

 

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Alarm Call Grit

9 Nov

Q: I am training for a 10k and can get myself out of the door no problem on the weekends, but during the week the only time I have to run is before work. I have been setting my alarm for 5.30am each day only to turn it off and go back to sleep. Any tips on how to summon up the extra grit to get myself out of bed? It is dark and raining most days now and it all feels too much like hard work.
A: Keeping fit and healthy through a committed exercise routine is always hard work. It is hard in the Summer when we would rather be doing anything else – like drinking rose in the sun – and hard in the Winter when the hours of daylight fade away and all we want to do is curl up on the sofa or under our duvets and hibernate until Spring. Accepting that it is hard is the first obstacle to get over. How? By simply sucking it up. Life is hard. Hard is the new black remember? You have made a commitment to entering this 10k race and you need to train yourself up to be race-ready. Thank your lucky stars that your job doesn’t require you to set your alarm for 4am. Others have to to squeeze in their runs – think Michelle Obama – and start channelling some of her inner grit.
I do have some sympathy, as I remember having to wake at 5.30am during the Winter months when training for a marathon many years ago and it is tough. But once I got into the habit of it, using the duvet decoys listed below, it just became part of my routine. I started to get so much out of running before work, that the benefits far outweighed the grit required to haul myself out of bed at such an ungodly hour. So the first thing to do is to accept that you are never going to hear your alarm and “feel” like jumping out of bed and going for a run! But run you must so try implementing these:

GD duvet decoys:

1. Set your mobile phone alarm ring tone to the most gritty in-your-face sort of wake up call rather than a gentle progressive one. SHOCK YOURSELF INTO ACTION.
2. Leave said alarm out of reach of the bed so you have to get out of bed to turn it off quickly or risk waking everybody else in your street. Getting out of your bed is nine-tenths of the battle.
3. Have your running kit, bra, knickers, socks – the whole shebang – laid out ready the night before so you can slip into all your clothes without so much as a seconds’ thought.
4. Head straight out of the door via the sink for a glass or two of water.

I found that I was still half asleep during this process which worked well for me as before I could question the insanity of getting up so early, the run had begun. Nothing compares to running through the break of dawn, you will feel so proud of yourself all day and you will feel unbelievably good when you arrive at work. Running during these colder months will also help to keep colds flu and general winter malaise at bay, and those endorphins will help cheer you up when you are most in need of a laugh. Plus, regular Winter running will have you looking incredible for your Christmas office party in your LBD. Think of all those Christmas treats: the mince pies and mulled wine that you can enjoy without fear of the damage they can do to your waistline! And, you will start 2016 incredibly focussed and in great shape. This is why people do it. Not for the love of the sport. And certainly not for the love of waking up at the crack of dawn. We do it for everything else it buys for our lives.
The Grit Doctor says:
Breakfast has never tasted so good.

Shin Splints

1 Sep

Q: Would dearly love to know what @gritdoctor has to say about crippling shin splints! #motivate
@innocentnomad

A: Well, Em, I reckon shin splints are the most common running injury, so you are in good company. They can particularly affect those starting out or newish to longer distance running, when your calf muscles are not yet used to the pounding, and that dull ache you are experiencing in your lower legs is most likely the result of medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS) caused by frequent and intense periods of exercise that your body is unused to. MTSS is thought to occur when the layer of connective tissue that covers the surface of the shin bone (periosteum) becomes inflamed. Shin Splints are most likely to affect new runners and those who increase speed and/or distances too quickly, I’m not sure Em which category you fall into.
Runners at risk of developing shin splints other than newcomers to the sport, are those who run on concrete or other equally unforgiving hard surfaces, up steep hills (especially if you are lugging around extra weight), and runners with weak ankles, tight calf muscles or tight Achilles tendons (the band of tissue connecting the heel bone to the calf muscle). If you suffer from overpronation (excessive rolling of the foot) or flat feet, this may also aggravate the problem and put you at a greater risk of developing shin splints. All of the above can and do happen to runners of all ages.
What can you do about it?
1. Stop running for two weeks and do lower impact sports instead: yoga, swimming, cross-training or walking . If you have been ‘gritting it out’ and running in spite of the shin splints, apply an ice pack (just wrap frozen peas in a tea-towel) immediately after your run to help relieve the pain and/or use over the counter paracetomol or ibuprofen-based painkillers. Make that your last run for a fortnight.
2. Make sure you are wearing the right shoes. If prone to shin splints, you really do need to invest in a pair of proper running shoes. By ‘proper’ I mean a pair bought from a specialist running shop. It is vital that your running shoes provide sufficient cushioning and support for your weight and foot type. So, if you haven’t already done so, get yourself to a specialist running shop and have your gait analysed and a trained member of staff help you to choose the right shoes.
[If you continue having problems and think your shoes may be the cause, see a podiatrist (aka a foot specialist) who will be able to look at your overall lower limb biomechanics. They may well recommend orthotics (special shoe inserts) which will help guard against shin splints]
If the pain does not improve dramatically after two weeks rest, please see your GP so they can rule out other possible causes of the pain, including but not exclusive to: reduced blood supply to the lower leg (smokers are at greater risk of this); stress fractures and muscle hernias; ‘compartment syndrome’ (swelling of the leg muscle such that the surrounding nerves and blood vessels become overly compressed); or a nerve problem in your lower back (radiculopathy). In your case Em, I am hopeful that any of the above are extremely unlikely and so, assuming that your shins do recover in a fortnight and you are keen to get back out running, make sure you do the following – in your properly fitting specialist running shoes of course:
●Run on a flat, soft surface, such as a playing field;
●Go easy on your first outing, slower than before and over a shorter distance;
●Increase the distance you run very slowly after a few weeks back running and don’t attempt to speed up until 6 weeks and then only very gradually;
●Work on improving your overall strength and flexibility (cross training and core strength training will help with this). Specifically, strengthen your lower leg with this simple exercise: Sit on a chair and loop a weight around your foot (a jar full of coins would do fine), then move your foot up and down from the ankle (so you are using your ankle and not your leg to generate the lifting action).

Summer Food and Fitness Plan

4 Jun

The Grit Doctor

Anyone who started a diet or a detox at the beginning of January – full of enthusiasm and motivation might be starting to wonder why they bothered. And why it is that we all fall prey to this crazy cycle of dieting every January, yet somehow wind up a little bit fatter and in a blind panic come June as to how the faaaaark we are going to expose our pins on this hot afternoon, let alone brave the beach in a bikini come July.

But what if there was a better, simpler way of eating and living that allowed you just to eat normally and not worry about this kind of stuff any longer? A way that freed us from the chains of this dieting merry-go-round from which there seems to be no escape?

There is a way of being healthier that we all know to be true and…

View original post 119 more words

Summer Food and Fitness Plan

29 May

Anyone who started a diet or a detox at the beginning of January – full of enthusiasm and motivation might be starting to wonder why they bothered. And why it is that we all fall prey to this crazy cycle of dieting every January, yet somehow wind up a little bit fatter and in a blind panic come June as to how the faaaaark we are going to expose our pins on this hot afternoon, let alone brave the beach in a bikini come July.

But what if there was a better, simpler way of eating and living that allowed you just to eat normally and not worry about this kind of stuff any longer? A way that freed us from the chains of this dieting merry-go-round from which there seems to be no escape?

There is a way of being healthier that we all know to be true and understand intuitively already. Its the Grit Doctor way. Its the way that says, less crap please; smaller portions; eating at meal times; allowing ourselves to feel true hunger pangs; a way that embraces the unalterable fact that regular exercise is a necessary component to a healthy life and to sustainable weight management.
summerhealthandfitnessplan

I’m very excited to announce the release of my Summer Food and Fitness ebook OUT TODAY AND ONLY 99p!!! It is the dieting antidote that leaves you no longer giving a shit about looking banging in a bikini but instead feeling positive, energetic and in charge of your eating habits.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Grit-Doctors-Summer-Food-Fitness-ebook/dp/B00Y4CXDVI/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1432828633&sr=1-6

The Grit Doctor Says

NO TO DIETING. YES TO A SUSTAINABLE SUMMER FOOD AND FITNESS PLAN.